by S. T. Sanchez
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pub. Date May 17, 2017
Word Count: 101,000
Lilly is a sunwalker—a vampire born from human parents, able to walk in the daylight. She lives life as human, hiding her true identity from all those around her. One evening, she comes to the rescue of her best friend, Lex, as a vampire is about to make a meal out of her. Lilly is drawn to him, despite her desire to loathe him for almost murdering Lex, as he is the first of her kind she has ever met.
As the vampire, Tread, begins to open Lilly’s eyes to a world she has never known, Lilly must decide where she belongs. After she is betrayed by the person she loves most, Lilly is forced to submerge herself entirely in the vampire world, only to discover that Tread has a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.
She heard a male voice whispering, “No it’s completely safe, we’ll just have a little more privacy back here.”
A giggle came from behind the building. It was definitely Lex, though how she knew that, Lilly had no idea. She would never have even been able to imagine Lex giggling. Lilly approached quietly and saw a man with his arm wrapped around Lex, kissing her as he pushed her up against the back wall of The Broken Coffee Pot. Then, in a flash, he had her neck at an angle. He pushed her hair off her neck and had his hand around her mouth.
“It’ll be so quick you’ll barely notice anything,” the man said. Then he winked at her and his eyeteeth extended into long fangs.
Lilly would never forget the look of terror in her friend’s eyes. Without even realizing what she was doing, she lunged at the man and sent him flying.
The man stood up inhumanly fast, and dusted some sand from his shirt. He seemed amused.
“Listen doll, I don’t know you, but generally speaking, when someone has their dinner ready and is about to eat, you go find your own. You don’t try and steal theirs.”
Lilly turned to Lex. “Run!” she yelled.
Lex stared hesitantly at Lilly for a brief moment and then took off in a mad dash, tripping on the sand as she tried to get away.
Lilly spun to block his pursuit. Her fangs slid out and a growl ripped through her teeth. She was taken aback at first, realizing the sound came from her and not the vampire in front of her.
The man stared at her, confused. Then he took a few slow steps forward with a look of awe on his face. “You’re a sunwalker,” he said with a hint of amusement.
“Yeah, and I’m stronger than the scum like you who are bitten into existence. So stay away from my friend,” Lilly spat with all the spite she could muster.
Before she realized what was happening, the vampire had her now pinned to the wall.
“You listen to me, little girl. You are nothing but an infant,” he scoffed. “You will watch how you talk to me,” he ordered as he squeezed her wrist tighter. “I have been around a long time. I’m smarter than you, faster than you, and stronger than you. Sunwalkers might be rare. But don’t ever assume you’re the only one.” He shoved her one more time hard against the wall, gripping her hand with one arm and using the other to hold her across the chest. Then, he released her.
“Ow!” Lilly said, rubbing her wrist. “That hurt.” She looked at him, dumbfounded. He was not just another vampire, but a sunwalker.
“That was the point,” he said, shaking his head, still trying to figure something out.
She rubbed her wrist. “It’s just, I’ve never been hurt before. I didn’t think we could get hurt.”
His jaw dropped. He opened it to speak, then shut it again. He shook his head.
“You do that a lot?” Lilly asked.
“Walk around and shake your head.”
“I just don’t understand you…” He started to shake his head and stopped himself. Stifling a laugh, he asked, “Where are you from? What hospital were you born at? I don’t understand how we missed you. You must not have been born around here.”
“Hold on, as much as I’d love to stay and chat,” Lilly replied sarcastically, “you just tried to murder my friend.” She turned and started walking back around the building. She heard him muttering “friend” as she stalked off.
“Wait!” the stranger called.
Lilly didn’t bother turning around. “Yeah, I don’t think so,” she called, and then almost walked smack dab into him as he appeared in front of her.
“That was me asking politely, as a courtesy because you are my kind, and I fancy myself as a gentleman—” he began, but stopped as Lilly rubbed her wrist. “Well normally I am a gentleman. Someone stealing my dinner and then letting it run free seems to have put me in a foul mood. Nevertheless, as you’ve seen, I can make you stay.” He stepped back, holding his hands up non-threateningly and then added, “Just answer a few questions and then I’ll let you leave.”
Lilly wasn’t thrilled with this. She knew Lex must be going out of her mind right now. But after feeling his strength, she knew she really didn’t have a choice. Some kind of gentleman, threatening but polite, she thought.
“Fine,” she huffed. “Ask away. It’s not like I really have a choice.”
He gestured to a couple of crates and then sat down. Lilly hadn’t really had time to process all that had happened. But sitting across from this man, she realized for the first time that Lex had been right about one thing, he really was a hottie. He had long dark eyelashes and deep blue eyes. His hair hung in black waves and was a little longer than the guys’ at school, who kept their hair very short. It wasn’t like medieval times long, just grown out a little. He brushed his hand through his hair, pushing a lock out of his face. He was about six feet tall. And he was pale like she was. He seemed to be about the same age as her. This surprised her most; something about him had made her think he was much older. He was dressed nicely too. He had on khaki pants and a long sleeved button-down black dress shirt. Everything was neatly pressed with prominent straight creases. She didn’t see a wrinkle on his outfit. He seemed like he had just stepped off the pages of a GQ magazine.
“Ok, so—” he began.
“How did you know I was a sunwalker?” she interrupted.
“Because I can smell the sun on your skin,” he answered, appearing annoyed. “That and I can hear your heart beating. Now may I ask my questions?”
Lilly nodded. This was the first vampire she had ever met and a million questions flooded through her mind. But he did just try to kill Lex. She promised herself no matter how badly she wanted answers to her questions, she would just answer his and then go find her friend.
“Alright. Thank you,” he added. “Oh, I forgot my manners. I’m Tread.” He waited, then when he saw she wasn’t going to reciprocate, he prodded. “And you are?” he asked with an exaggerated but dazzling smile. “Remember you promised to answer my questions,” he reminded.
“Lilly,” she said, trying to be as defiant as she could, although admittedly it was getting harder.
“Lilly,” he repeated. Seemingly content, he continued. “Where are you from?”
Lilly gestured around her, “You’re looking at it. Good ole’ Harbor Cove, New Hampshire.”
He leaned closer. “Here’s the part that confuses me. What hospital were you born at? And you’re how old?”
“Seventeen. And I wasn’t born in a hospital.”
“Seventeen! You really are just a baby. Hmmmm.” Tread nodded to himself as if this confirmed his suspicions, whatever they were.
“What is ‘hmmmm’ supposed to mean? And how did you get past the fence anyway?” Lilly demanded after the realization struck that this vampire had been inside her city. Lex had said she met him at the movies, which meant he had gotten past the wall.
Tread laughed hard. “My questions, remember.” He stood up. “Last question. Am I the first vampire you’ve ever met?” He regarded her intently.
“Yes. Can I go now?” Lilly asked as she stood up, following Tread’s suit.
“Sure, unless you want to meet up with me again. Learn about our species. About what you are,” he said with a note of pity in his voice. “Because you really don’t seem to know much.”
“You want me to meet up with you after you just tried to murder my friend, then threatened me into answering your questions?” she asked in disbelief.
Tread stepped towards Lilly, closer than a human would, and she glanced at him nervously. “Why do you hang out with these happy meals?”
Confusion on her face, she asked, “Happy meals?”
“Humans. Sorry, I forget you don’t know the vampire jargon. Humans like fast food. And although they are not what I would call fast, that’s what we call them. They are FOOD, you know.” Then he grinned. “And they do make me so very, very happy.”
Lilly stepped back. “You’re disgusting. You know I sit here and look at you. Talk to you. You seem so human. But you’re not. You’re a monster.”
“We’re the same species, hon.” Tread replied as she walked off.
Lilly rushed around the corner and then checked to see if Tread was following her. When she saw he wasn’t, she pulled her phone out. There were twenty texts from Lex. She had been so engrossed in the scuffle and inquisition from Tread that the beeping hadn’t even registered with her. Not bothering to read them, she texted back quickly.
You can find Sunwalker at
T. Sanchez was born in Dallas, TX. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA of Arts in Spanish. She loves to write fantasy. She is married and has three wonderful children. She loves hiking and spending time outdoors when she is not writing. She has a second novel set to come out in December of 2017 entitled Charlie Tanner and the Piranha. Nightwalker, the sequel to Sunwalker, is set to come out in Spring 2018.